The married couple from Norwich who met on the chessboard

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Two Norwich chess players met through their shared passion for the game.

It all started when Heather Walker invited “Master” Martin of the World Chess Federation to visit her Aylsham chess club to give an expert lesson in April.

This led to the exchange of multiple emails during the lockdown between the couple, who now live happily together in Sprowston Road.


Heather and Martin Walker recently tied the knot after meeting on the chessboard.
– Credit: Danielle Booden

Ms Walker said: “The emails have gotten longer and longer and more frequent. The blocks have meant we haven’t met in person.

“In April, we both felt like this was someone we wanted to get to know better. When we got to summer, we both thought it wasn’t silly, it’s real. . ”


Norwich couple Heather and Martin Walker are tying the knot after meeting on the chessboard.  Photo: Danielle

Norwich couple Heather and Martin Walker are tying the knot after meeting on the chessboard.
– Credit: Danielle Booden

After initially being invited to a socially distant tea party with Mr Walker’s family, the couple married on August 31 at Stoke Holy Cross Church, much to the surprise of the chess community.

Mr Walker said: “It was a big surprise to a lot of people. There weren’t any chess events so we weren’t seen together.

“A lot of people were totally unaware of it, but the response has been very positive. Everyone is very happy for us.”


Martin Walker playing his wife in a <a class=game of chess. Photo: Danielle Booden” class=”” loading=”lazy” title=””/>

Martin Walker playing his wife in a game of chess.
– Credit: Danielle Booden

The couple are now eagerly awaiting the resumption of the Norfolk chess season in October.

Ms Walker has become a regular player of the Broadland and Aylsham Chess Clubs in recent years, while Mr Walker is an internationally qualified chess teacher with his own chess consultancy firm.

Ms Walker said: “When we have a little more time, he will help me with my failures.

“Me against him would be like trying to run against Usain Bolt in the 100 meters.”


Heather Martin plays her husband in a game of chess.  Photo: Danielle Booden

Heather Martin plays her husband in a game of chess.
– Credit: Danielle Booden

Mr Walker learned to play checkers and chess from his father at the age of seven when he was at Cringleford Infant School.

John Wickham, chairman of the Norfolk County Chess Association, said: “I have known the happy couple for many years and think they are a ‘perfect match’.

“Heather and Martin’s wedding brought great joy to the entire Norfolk chess community.


Norwich couple Heather and Martin Walker are tying the knot after meeting on the chessboard.  Photo: Danielle

Norwich couple Heather and Martin Walker tied the knot at Church of the Holy Cross in Stoke Holy Cross in August
– Credit: Danielle Booden

“We wish them the best of luck for a long and happy marriage and continued success at the chessboard.”


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